He was chasing beauty in his first book. Now Richard Phibbs turns his unique eye for beauty westward. His second book is a penetrating, provocative and extremely personal view of the beauty and authenticity of the place, the sensuality and spirit of the people, its timeless myths and their lingering hold on our national self-image.
Richard’s love for the west came naturally. He was born in Calgary, Alberta, home to Canada’s Calgary Stampede, one of the world’s great rodeos. The landcapes of Phibbs’s childhood then are the backgrounds of his most evocative and authentic images now. Stark plains and endless prairies. Weathered barns and fences. An empty horizon rolling to an open sky. This minimalism rooted in nature shaped Phibbs’s esthetic from the beginning.
Peopling the western landscapes of his childhood was that archetypal hero, the cowboy. Phibbs’s modern cowboys are sensitively rendered; looking into their eyes, you connect with decades of tradition while experiencing an electric shock of immediacy. At the same time, Phibbs developed the love for animals, especially dogs and horses, which informs all his work.